……………….My ex’s mistress is throwing the fact that they are going to get married in my face whenever she gets the chance. She is continually telling me how happy they are and how secure she feels in his love, almost as if she’s trying to convince herself. Now the Bible says that you should try and reconcile, so obviously if they do get married the chances of reconciliation is gone. At this stage I know it is unbiblical of me, but I would not want to remarry my ex based on the fact that he so obviously is not at the same place I am when it comes to his relationship with God, this besides all the other reasons I have. This I based purely on what I am seeing is happening in his life. I do believe he believes in God, but he has not put his faith in God.
Marriage to his mistress I believe will be a huge mistake. Not only do I know what was said between me and him, but I have also told him from the start that you cannot make a success of a relationship that started out with lies and deceit as the basis. Then there are the sayings “you cannot build your happiness on someone else’s unhappiness”, “what you sow you will reap” and some people will bring Carma into this equation. There apparently is a saying that “the person you are with during the divorce will most likely not be the one you are with afterwards”. Most of my friends and sadly there are a lot of them, whose husband/wives had an affair, either never did marry their affair partner or if they did, are on the brink of a second divorce. However that is mine and some other peoples personally feelings, so I went to look at what the statistics say about the chances of marriage to your affair partner lasting.
According to statistics only 3% of men will marry their affair partner. Those who did suffered a 75% divorce rate. Shocking if you consider what they had to give up, eventually ending up in the same position – getting a second divorce. Statistics show that second marriages overall has a higher failure rate than first marriages, 15% within the first 3 years and 25% after 5 years. Makes one wonder if it is really worth it?
According to research I did, here are the most common reasons why affair marriages fail:
During the affair the affair partners are in an intense state of stimulating unreality. The whole affair is based on a fantasy. The second marriage itself is the switch that highlights the mess that has accumulated. Only after the marriage does the divorce become a reality. Only then the people involved, sees what a horrible mistakes they have made. They were so caught up in their fantasy that the reality of what they were doing escaped them.
People that are involved in wrecking a marriage often don’t feel any guilt during the affair and divorce, so the guilt that hits them after the marriage often comes as a total and complete surprise, leading to tension in the new marriage.
Divorces are expensive both emotionally and financially. It will often lead to exhaustion and depression. It is often the case that the one partner will feel this exhaustion more acutely than the other, leading to tension when the one partner does not fully appreciate what it cost the other to get divorced.
Statistics show that people in their forties and older getting remarried will often have emotional, financial and practical difficulties due to the involvement of an ex-partner and children. Where there are children involved the ex-partners essentially stays a co-parenting couple for life. This means out of necessity they stay in a relationship with their ex-partner, which often causes tension in the new relationship. Also often as the children gets older they become resentful towards the new partner, especially if he/she was involved in breaking up their parent’s marriage. Financial concerns re children can also become a point of tension in a new marriage.
If an ex-spouse harbours anger towards her/his ex-partner, particularly if there was infidelity and betrayal involved, this anger can easily extend towards the new marriage causing tension and anxiety e.g. an unfaithful husband/wife may feel guilty at betraying his/her ex-partner which the new partner will pick up on, in return feeling betrayed by her new husbands loyalties.
Generally people feel that anything that cost them emotionally as much as a divorced did, better be worth it. The bigger the sacrifice the bigger the expectation. I remember my ex saying to me just after he moved out that she will pay for what he had to give up. They believe that the marriage will be just as perfect as the affair. Unfortunately they underestimate the reality of real life. They find out that their new marriage is not much different from the first one. They are the same people with the same coping mechanism as what they were in their first marriage.
During the affair and divorce the affair couple isolate themselves. They not only erase the betrayed spouse from their awareness, but also children, relatives and friends. The live in their own little private world, protected from the devastation they have created, safe from anyone who tries to pull them apart. Everyone is pointing fingers at them, which draws them together. They have only each other against all the judgemental people outside. Very often important relationships are damaged or destroyed because of the affair. After the marriage they long to reconnect with these people, only to find it’s not that easy. The hurt and disappointment they have caused will often hinder these relationships from being restored, making them feel very lonely.
Second marriages are often build on disappointment following infidelity and betrayal of the first marriage or built on guilt after cheating and abandoning the first spouse. The adulterer eventually has to face disappointment in himself and guilt for what he put his family through. This guilt often gets carried into the new relationship. The new partner will feel this guilt even if it does not show on the surface.
When the reality of the new marriage starts to become evident, one or both partner’s feelings often chances, making them fall “out of love”. They have based their relationship on their emotions, which will change as there circumstances changes and because they do not understand the physics of a relationship if will lead to the destruction of their second marriage as well. I have read the same in a book Neil T Anderson wrote and several people have said the same to me during counselling sessions I had. You cannot rely on your feeling of being “in love” when it comes to marriages. Feeling “in love” is an emotion and emotions will always change as your circumstances changes. Marriage is more than just two people falling in love.
During the affair and divorce the affair couple convinced each other it was the betrayed spouse’s fault. To acknowledge otherwise after the marriage would be a betrayal of the fantasies that fed the affair in the first place. Eventually you have to admit your part in the destruction of your marriage and you may find that you don’t like the truth of it.
Distrust of your new partner also will play a role. There is the fact that if he/she could do it to their former partner, they can do it to their new partner as well. There is often an unwillingness to commit to marriage and the partner will look for affair partners outside of marriage.
Also the fact that there is no shared history will cause problems often resulting in jealousy and insecurity when the past are being discussed. They do not want to hear about the good old days. This can often be very lonely and disheartening. They have to give up a huge part of their history and of who they are. If an affair wrecked the first marriage the history is one of embarrassment, guilt and pain. Not something they will want to bring up in conversation.
It is a pity that most people in affairs will refuse to look at these obstacles until it is too late. I have found this letter on the Marriage Builder website of Dr Willard Harley. It is of a woman who has become the “new wife”. In my opinion it says it all.
“My perspective is from that of the other woman (OW) who became the new wife. I hope this helps someone.
You will get to be responsible for destroying the life of another woman. You will get to be responsible for destroying the lives of all children involved. No, children are not resilient. They are sponges and take in everything around them whether they are capable of processing it or not. And when they are not able to process their world being shattered and all the conflicting messages about right and wrong, you will get to deal with all their issues and mistakes and anger as they grow up. You will have to know all the while that whatever is happening is a direct result of your selfishness. If the child fails at school, can’t control their anger, becomes promiscuous, falls into addictions, can’t maintain good relationships of their own you get to know in the back of your mind and deep in your soul that you are responsible for what molded that child. Whether you admit it or not, you WILL know. You will not be able to fix this; it will not work out, smooth over, or ever be okay. Even if you look like the Cleavers on the surface it is under there bubbling and will come out. Don’t think you are special and you will escape this result.
Maybe right now you are in a place where you are in deep denial about the children and you don’t give a crap about the BW [betrayed wife]. Let me appeal to your sense of selfishness then and tell you what you personally are going to suffer in the years to come…
You are marrying a cheater. Someone who didn’t like what they had at home so they went looking for something better. Or maybe you offered him something better? It doesn’t really matter who started it, who lied more, it doesn’t even really matter if you were tricked into a relationship not knowing he was married at first. Your consequences will be the same. You now have a spouse who gave up one family and chose you and yours. Feels great right? Think again. How long do you think it will take before you stop feeling like a prize?
The minute things go wrong, and face it, in all marriages there are these times, he is going to be looking at you and wondering if you were worth it. And you will feel it. Even if he doesn’t say it right out. He is going to realize that this marriage requires just as much work as the old one did and you are not nearly as perfect in real life as he thought you were and he is going to be angry for what he has sacrificed for you. Now you get to be insecure and feel like you are always fighting to be worth it to him.
You are going to be labeled as the bitch for the entire rest of your life. No matter what changes or personal revelations you come to, you will be the bitch that wrecked a home and stole a husband. There will be innumerable family conflicts over this. You are likely to have his kids hating your guts forever. This means that every holiday, school concert, soccer game, big family event like graduations and weddings, and grandkids (yes, it will last that far and long) will be sources of conflict instead of happy times.
You will probably not be invited to a lot of things that your spouse should be attending with his children. You may show up anyway, asserting your position as the new wife. But it will be a conflict. You spouse will have to over and over choose between you and his original family. He is going to resent you for this. You are going to get so tired of constantly being the center of conflict and so tired of all the hate directed at you and no one is going to sympathize with you. When you do impose yourself where the BW and her children and extended family and friends are, you will feel the scarlet letter that you wear burning in your chest no matter how high you try to hold your head. I promise you…you will. You and your stolen spouse will fight over this more than you can imagine in the years to come.
And guess what?! When he starts to pull away from you and works late more, or isn’t insatiable in bed with you anymore, or cuts his hair a new way you are going to be terrified. You are going to be terrified because you know exactly what he might be doing next. You are going to be suspicious probably before he actually even does anything because you already know he is untrustworthy.
Chances are he is going to cheat again too. Except this time on you. Now, you get to feel the pain of being a BW doubled by the pain of realizing exactly what you did to someone else. The guilt and shame on top of your already devastating pain from being cheated on will be unbearable. Now listen to this closely NO ONE IS GOING TO CARE!! You are going to hear and know that you should have known better and have the old adages about cheaters thrown in your face over and over. You will not be able to come somewhere like these boards for support because they are going to crucify you! You will be all alone with your pain and your heartache with no one to blame but yourself.
Do not think you are special. DO NOT THINK IT WON’T HAPPEN TO YOU!!!!!!!!!! The stats are overwhelmingly high. No one gets married thinking that their spouse will cheat. No one. I promise that you are not different or better somehow.
Occasionally an affair partner will grow a conscience and want to be a good person and here is what happens…
Now, let’s say that you make changes in your heart and your life. Let say you find God or in whatever way it comes to you, you realize that you have done something horrendous. Okay, now you actually do care about those kids and that BW. Well too bad. You can’t fix it. Yes, God will forgive you if you repent. Not many others will. And you will have one heck of a time trying to forgive yourself. You will feel sick and ashamed all the time. You will cry many bitter tears.
You will not be able to look at your spouse and feel the same way you once did. All of your memories of when you first met, your first kiss, the early days of your relationship will be tainted. All of those memories that are supposed to be sweet will be sour. You will not be able to enjoy them because you know that whole time it was wrong, wrong, wrong! What are you left with? Not much.
You are going to try to offer apologies, you are going to try to figure out what you can possibly do to make amends and there are going to be no easy answers. You will be told by many that you can’t repent and stay married. You will be told by just as many that if God has forgiven you that another divorce would be just another sin. You will make yourself crazy over this because you want to do the right thing for once in your life and you have put yourself in a situation where it is impossible to know what that is.
Also, if you are one of the few who have this attack of conscience at some point down the road, you are still going to be dealing with all the same stuff above that the unremorseful affair partner is dealing with except it’s probably going to hurt you even more because you now genuinely care. Too bad no one will think you are sincere or trust your words. Why should they, remember what you did?? Of course you do, now go cry some more as if it will help.
There are no time machines people!! You are making a mess bigger than you can ever clean up!!…”